BMW’s i8 MemphisStyle Makes North American Debut at the Frieze New York Art Fair

The one-of-a-kind coupe illustrates the marque’s commitment to support modern art…

Automotive design is as much an art form as it is a negotiation with physics. Massaging metals into provocative, aerodynamic shapes requires the vision of a designer and the precision of an engineer. With the right pairing, a vehicular masterpiece is born. Such is the case with the BMW i8 MemphisStyle, the marque’s one-off i8, designed in collaboration with Garage Italia Customs, which will make its North American premiere tomorrow at the Frieze New York art fair.

Already avant-garde, BMW’s i8 features an innovative plug-in hybrid powertrain and carbon-fiber chassis that are encased in cutting-edge bodywork for a stunning glimpse into the future of transportation.


For the sixth consecutive year, BMW Group has partnered with the Frieze New York art fair as part of the automaker’s more than decade-long support of international art fairs and museums, with particular focus on modern art.

The i8 MemphisStyle is inspired by the revolutionary works of the Memphis Group—a company of artists who countered functional, commercial designs with incensing style in the 1980s. Like the Memphis Group’s dedication to disruption of form and function, BMW’s i brand continues to unsettle traditional automotive design and engineering.

Bright colors, hypnotic patterns, and a clash of horizontal and vertical lines make this particular custom coupe equal parts rebellious and fun. BMW’s latest automotive canvas falls in line with the automaker’s long-standing tradition of commissioning groundbreaking creatives to design exclusive “art cars.”

Attendees of Frieze New York can visit BMW’s lounge during the show, which runs from May 5 through 7, to see the winsome i8 in person. BMW will also host an art-related discourse, “A Journey into the Future,” on May 6, as part of an ongoing partnership with Soho House. (bmwgroup.com)

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